Archive for June, 2011

Convergent Thoughts: Writer’s Block June 30, 2011 10:23 pm

Convergent Thoughts: Writer’s Block

For the past three hours, I have been on an Amtrak train headed out to St.Louis to spend some needed and well deserved time with family. Also, for the past three hours I have been writing a post for EdReach that keeps morphing, changing, and weaving back and forth between two similar, but distinctly separate topics. For someone who works to write in a focused manner it is frustrating to say the least. For the sake of staying on topic […]

Internet For The Rest of Us June 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Internet For The Rest of Us

Yesterday, I took a drive out to my new home in Lanark, IL. It is an area where there are many unpaved roads, roads that travel at odd angles, and friendly people who wave as they pass each other on the drive. I really love everything about the new area I am moving. Well, almost everything. While getting my utilities setup, I realized that the local cable company, Mediacom, would not service my location. I am four miles from their […]

Using iDevices in the Classroom: A Live Event [Archived] June 28, 2011 12:46 pm

Using iDevices in the Classroom: A Live Event [Archived]

  Update: Thanks to everyone for dropping in on this session. Our wired internet went out on us here at the conference, so we were forced to stream from the Wifi, which, you know, had like 8000 other people using it. So the archived session is a little choppy, but digestible. EdReach will be using our new tool, to broadcast a Birds of a Feather presentation from ISTE: Using iPads, iPod Touch, and iPhones for Learning and Teaching will begin […]

Mobile Reach #7 – Home Alone from ISTE June 28, 2011 12:35 pm

Mobile Reach #7 – Home Alone from ISTE

Home Alone.* It’s not fun, but Chad, Tammy & David step into the role of Kevin McCallister who’ve been left behind by Mom Judi & Dad Scott who are at the ISTE conference taking place in Philadelphia. We share some resources from ISTE we’ve been following virtually this week.  Also on tap are some “true” Mobile Learning resources, discussion around a new Android tablet, talk about some apps coming to the IOS platform including Skype & Facebook and sharing of apps […]

Day 3: ISTE Liveblog- Silicon Valley Finds its Way to ISTE June 28, 2011 7:00 am

Day 3: ISTE Liveblog- Silicon Valley Finds its Way to ISTE

Monday, some of our EdReach contributors (myself included) hung around on the vendor floor, looking for innovative products and ideas that might take education forward. We found some passionate coders in, also had a great conversation with, a simple, cloud-based LMS, that integrates with Google Apps (also a startup- based out of New York)., the “Facebook of education,” is here, and another sign that the apocalypse is nearing, showed off Evernote Peak- all of this- a clear sign […]

TechCrunch Disrupt comes to ISTE [] June 27, 2011 3:33 pm

TechCrunch Disrupt comes to ISTE []

Could this be a sign of great things to come? Walking the vendor floor at ISTE, we’re finally starting to see cool Ed apps and tools from the TechCrunch world arrive in the Education world., a very interesting startup, who attended TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, showed off their online, interactive graphing calculator. Here’s what we saw from these talented coders.

Day 2: ISTE Liveblog from EdReach June 27, 2011 7:30 am

Day 2: ISTE Liveblog from EdReach

Well, the keynote from yesterday was not quite what we expected (getting booted, and all), but the ScribbleLive blog, we’ve found is a great way to view the #ISTE11 hashtag, with some added components for sharing like webcam comments. As you can see, it’s clean and updates smoothly. It also adds images that people are posting directly into the stream. Today, we’ll be tweeting out and sharing, but, of course you’ll be adding to the experience. If you want the […]

Day 1: ISTE Liveblog from EdReach June 26, 2011 3:00 pm

Day 1: ISTE Liveblog from EdReach

EdReach will  be liveblogging each day of ISTE. Today, ISTE kicks off with a keynote from Brain Rules author, Dr. John Medina. We’ll be sharing our liveblog, adding pictures, tweeting, and adding to the discussion of taking education forward. Check back on this page, for the Liveblog stream. Let’s engage, and feel free to comment!

Inside EdubloggerCon 2011 [Slideshow] June 26, 2011 8:00 am

Inside EdubloggerCon 2011 [Slideshow]

EdReach had a great time at #EdubloggerCon 2011! We met some great new educators (new to us), met the guys, Symbaloo team, and we had some in-depth discussions with the creators of some of the best education tools out there, like Wikispaces. As for the conference, numerous ideas were shared about Khan Academy, Bring Your Own Device, and the state of education in the news media. Good to see that the TechCrunch spillover ( is finally finding its way […]

My Teacher To-Do List for the Summer June 25, 2011 6:00 pm

My Teacher To-Do List for the Summer

My summer seems to be pretty busy and I am always feeling like I am doing mindless tasks.  I made a conscious effort to make sure that I was completing activities that worked the mind this summer.  The list below shows most of the activities that I am involved with during my “vacation.” Teacher Feast- This is a week long training camp for teachers to learn technology for the classroom.  It is a great model for professional development.  I am […]

Three Qualities That Make Video Games Better Teachers Than Teachers June 24, 2011 2:01 pm

Three Qualities That Make Video Games Better Teachers Than Teachers

In my five part countdown about video games and education (the rest can be found here, at, I have addressed the types of gamers in your classroom and the common misconceptions about these students. This article, however, takes the focus off of the students and turns a spotlight onto the teachers. There are several qualities that make video games better teachers than teachers, and here are my top three:   Reason Number One: Ability to Assess   The speed […]

Google Educast Show #21: How To Go Google At ISTE June 24, 2011 1:00 pm

Google Educast Show #21: How To Go Google At ISTE

    Show Host: Jay Blackman Show contributors: Chad Kafka and John Sowash Subscribe to The EdReach Podcasts on iTunes Subscribe to the EdReach Podcast Feed. The complete show notes are now on the EdReach Wiki. Call us on our comment line! If you would like to leave some feedback you can call us on our very own EdReach Comment line: That’s: (443) 93REACH.

MacReach Show #19: EduTecher Talk June 23, 2011 9:43 pm

MacReach Show #19: EduTecher Talk

Summer is the perfect time to discover some new classroom tools, and the eduTecher Backpack app is a great starting place for educators looking for website tools to enhance teaching and learning. Adam Bellow joins in this week to talk about how his EduTecher Bakpack app came to be such a great resource for educators, and shares some other great summer learning opportunities! – EduTecher on the web and in app form: explore, share, contribute great resources! – EduBloggerCon unconference […]

Attending ISTE At Home: Seven Tips To Enhance Your Virtual ISTE Experience! June 23, 2011 12:00 pm

Attending ISTE At Home: Seven Tips To Enhance Your Virtual ISTE Experience!

ISTE is the mega conference of mega conferences; it is the largest EdTech conference in the world.   ISTE annually draws over 12,000 to the conference and this year there are over 135 workshops, 700 sessions, and informal learning opportunities every where you go; ISTE  2011 will be held in Philly June 26-29.  For a great ISTE overview listen to the latest EdReach show. Personally I’ve been to ISTE twice and never been disappointed.  This year I won’t be there, instead of attending and presenting […]

EdReach Show #26: Our ISTE Preview! June 23, 2011 8:00 am

EdReach Show #26: Our ISTE Preview!

Exciting! Scott, Judi, and Jay all join me to talk about getting into the ISTE van, and heading to Philly this week for the ISTE Conference. The big story at ISTE definitely seems like it will be iPads and tablets. We discuss the controversy over the ISTE Keynote, which has always been a point of contention for some of the attendees of the conference. We talk about many of the awesome, innovative educators to keep an eye out for, such […]

Mobile Reach #6 – iPod Classroom Management Tips June 22, 2011 3:27 pm

Mobile Reach #6 – iPod Classroom Management Tips

In this episode, Chad & Tammy interview Junior High School Social Studies teacher David Freeburg regarding how he uses iPod Touch devices in his classroom with students.  We cover a handful of things to think about, tricks and tips.  We also share some brief Android tablet news and review some apps that we’ve been playing with. Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka) Co-Host: Tammy Lind(@TamL17) Special guest: David Freeburg (@whizbang) Subscribe to The EdReach Podcasts on iTunes Subscribe to the EdReach […]

Join EdReach at ISTE 2011! June 21, 2011 5:41 pm

Join EdReach at ISTE 2011!

It’s only a few days away, but the EdReach team will be at ISTE (that’s the International Society for Technology in Education- for your newbies) in Philadelphia, PA. The conference starts Sunday, June 26th and runs until Wednesday, the 29th. We’ll be starting out on Saturday, though, at EdubloggerCon, which is a fabulous “unconference” hosted  by Steve Hargadon. EdReach will be live blogging, taking pictures, and catching up with educators from all around the world. Although many of the sessions and […]

I let my students grade me. June 20, 2011 8:00 am

I let my students grade me.

At the end of the year I ask my students to complete a course evaluation. They typically enjoy this because I tell them that this is their opportunity to give me a grade for my performance as a teacher. I take this survey seriously and try to make adjustments the following year based on the feedback that I get. In typical high school fashion some students leave suggestions that are completely ridiculous (“let us mess around more”), impossible (“let’s have […]